Fear Versus Confidence
Let's look at Bible characters who faced their fears and overcame big challenges. There's no better way to solve our problems or confront our fears than to be assured of God's presence and power!
Categories: Fear, Guidance
As the days get shorter and darkness descends earlier, fear can erode a child's otherwise confident nature. And the constant barrage of ghosts, skeletons, and devils in anticipation of Halloween doesn't help much. Added to this might be concerns about the school year, possibly an over-strict teacher or menacing bully or even a former friend who seems to have drifted away. These subtle fears shouldn't be glossed over. Parents can address them forcefully and with solid spiritual substance.
But, if you start by saying "We're going to talk about fear," you may turn off your needy listeners. Consider this approach: Choose a Bible character who faced fear and won the challenge. There is Abraham (Genesis 12) who was fearful of leaving his home territory for the unknown. That's like a student starting at a brand new school. How about Moses (Exodus 4) who didn't think he had the talent for leadership. That's akin to the fear of a new course of study. And, there is David (I Samuel 17) who fought Goliath and was nearly murdered several times by his mentor, Saul. Yes, bullies and false friends popped up even in Old Testament times.
Read or retell the full story of one of the many characters who faced fears. For example, you may relate the story of David and Goliath and also include the later tales of Saul's vengefulness. Don't explain in advance what you're hinting at. When you finish your tale, just ask: " What's this story really about?" Kids may realize that their fearful experiences are challenges that others have triumphed over through all of history.
Next, turn your readers to Bible statements that allay fear. It is refreshing to find the familiar lines in another translation. You might want to use a different translation each month. Here are some good quotes to put on the bulletin board or refrigerator door - change to a new one each week.
- "Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32, KJV)
- "God gave to us not a spirit of weakness: but of vigour, and love, and discretion." (II Timothy 1:7, The Complete Bible in Modern English - Ferrar Fenton.
- "Light, space, zest - that's God! So with him on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing, When besieged, I'm calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I'm collected and cool." (Psalm 27:1, 3, The Message - Eugene H. Peterson) You might enjoy reading all of Psalms 27 in this contemporary version or in the King James version. Also consider Psalm 23:4, Psalm 31:13 and 14, Psalm 34: 7, and all of Psalm 91.
Finally, buy an inexpensive small angel pin and affix it inside a child's jacket pocket as a secret reminder of God's care. You might also play hide-and-seek outside in the dark. Make teams of two so no one hides or seeks alone. Bedtime story-telling with the lights off is another way to show that darkness needn't be scary.
Let your light shine on those dark moments. This month dispel childhood fears with the light of God shining on all His children.